6 Recipes to Improve Your Gut Health
Chocolate and berries is a classic combo that translates well to smoothie form—plus, strawberries and raspberries can even help keep your stomach from feeling like a balloon. That's because these fruits are low on the list of gas-producing foods containing FODMAPs. The acronym stands for "fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides-, monosaccharides and polyols"—and, foods low in these shouldn't make you feel bloated. The recipe calls for low-FODMAP almond milk (though you can swap in another nondairy milk), as well as a small amount of dark chocolate chips to give the drink just a bit of decadence.
Get the recipe: Anti-Bloat Chocolate Berry Smoothie
Photo: Annabelle Breakey
Although bok choy is sometimes referred to as Chinese cabbage—and it is technically a member of the cruciferous vegetable (aka cabbage) family—the hearty green won't make you feel uncomfortably stuffed in the way some other cabbage can (savoy cabbage, for instance, is a high-FODMAP food, while bok choy is a low-FODMAP one). Its firm stalks hold up well in soups, such as this tasty one, which also includes ginger, shiitake mushrooms and egg noodles.
Get the recipe: Spicy Noodle Hot Pot
Photo: Alice Gao
Sweet yet earthy, this brilliant fuchsia soup is not only lovely to look at, it's also rich in beneficial ingredients. Namely: dairy (in the form of buttermilk), which has probiotics that are great for your digestion, and red berries, which also contribute to gut health. And the flavor of the strawberries goes impressively well with beets, with the berries offsetting the root veg's intensity.
Get the recipe: Strawberry Beet Soup
If you love hummus and pita, but have trouble with chickpeas (they're legumes, which can make you feel gassy or bloated), try baba ghanoush—it's an eggplant-based spread that's delicious with a variety of dippers. Gut-friendly ones include carrots, celery and cucumber.
Get the recipe: Minted Baba Ghanoush
Photo: Emily Kate Roemer
You can avoid sugar, refined flour and dairy and still have a breakfast that tastes a lot like banana bread. How? Oats. In research published in The Journal of Nutrition, participants saw a drop in an inflammatory marker when they ate foods that were low on the glycemic index, one of which is oats. This indulgent-tasting breakfast combines oats, milk, bananas, yogurt, coconut, honey, chia seeds and vanilla. You refrigerate the mixture overnight, warm it in the morning, and top with bananas, pecans, figs, honey and pomegranate seeds.
Get the recipe: Pecan Banana Bread Overnight Oats
Roasted root vegetables atop crisp greens is a winning pairing since they won't inflate your belly and they provide a lovely contrast in textures. This simple recipe includes roasted parsnips and carrots (though sweet potatoes would work too), plus walnuts for crunch and pears for a touch of sweetness (if you're sensitive, though, omit the fruit). One more reason to try this salad: the roasted vegetables are tasty hot or cold, making this a nice lunch option.
Get the recipe: Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Salad